The Value of Values Part 1: Identifying Your Values

Standard

This blog has plenty of ideas, tools and so on on living happy but a person can’t really live a happy life without identifying their values.

What are Values:

Values are the things important to you in your life. There are two categories:

Physical: Anything that exists outside of your mind such as friends, family , your job, your sport or hobby.

Psychological/Philosophical:  These values are your emotions and principles. For example: Kindness and sharing, happiness, contentment, compassion, charity and generosity. These can also be political such as democracy or liberalism or a political/social belief such human rights or being pro-choice.

Identifying Your Values

There is a surprisingly simple way to identify your values. Just ask yourself three questions:

  • When were you the happiest?
  • When were you filled with the most pride?
  • When were you the most fulfilled?

Answering these questions can and should take time, be absolutely sure you were truly happy, prideful…etc. Once you have a list prioritize them and reexamine regularly. Mindtools has some excellent suggestions as well:

  • Be Willing to Be Surprised
  • Test Your Values. Just having your list of values from the top of your mind, might not be enough.  To get more clarity, you can test your values:
    • Is it truly YOUR value?  (i.e. is it internally motivated or is it external … a “should”)
    • Is it a means or an end?  If one value is simply to accomplish another, then look to the value you want to accomplish.  If you want economic security because you think it leads to freedom, then freedom is the one you value most.  This is important because there’s multiple ways to accomplish a goal and flexibility is key.  Know what you want, but be flexible in your approach.
    • Do your actions show your values?  Actions speak louder than words.
    • When were you happiest or most excited?  What was your proudest moment?  These highlights are a potential showcase of your values.
    • What do you regret the most?  Again, this is a way to figure out what’s most important to you. (source)

Your values should determine your priorities and how you live your life. It is also important to keep your priorities ethical, this won’t be difficult as no one values the guilt or other bad feeling that go with being leading an unethical life.

Here are some examples of values:

Once you have determined your values you can focus on goals, achievements and a lifestyle that suits them and end up a much happier person.

 

 

Advertisements

Journal Nov. 26, 2017

Standard

I’m back after a bit of a setback. I had some minor surgery and it took a bit longer to recover than normal. The positive side is some downtime allowed time for coming up with great ideas for content and some research to support it.  More positive psychology, science and philosophy that helps guide people to living a happy, full life free of dogma and superstition. So even though I haven’t blogged as much as a should for medical reasons these last few days and sp readership dropped off I have had time to come up with some great ideas for posts. So as Dan Millman said:

The Best Possible Self: Ubermensch

Standard

The stealing of Nietzsche’s concept Ubermench (the overman, the superman) by the Nazi’s is one history’s great philosophical tragedies. The concept itself is more positive than most people realize. Nietzsche had a vision of a person who had achieved a superior version of himself, a person who has organized the chaos within and created his own values.

Pushing ourselves to be better is valued far too little because of the negative view that this motivation devalues our current self. We should instead be motivated by an inspiring self image of ourselves.  We are very lucky because positive psychology has created a tool for doing exactly that:

The Best Possible Self Exercise

The BPS has three stages:

  1. Set a timer for ten minutes
  2. For ten minutes write down what your best possible self could be. Ignore grammar and punctuation and brainstorm to your heart’s content.
  3. After the ten minutes are up reflect on what you wrote down means. Ask yourself some questions like:
    • What of part of what I wrote down do I like best?
    • Can I achieve this?
    • How does this make me feel?
    • Does it motivate or inspire me?

With this tool everyone wins because on a personal level overtime we begin see our personal ubermench as achievable and are motivated to push ourselves towards it everyday. Personally I have added small personal vision’s of my own superior self at the end of my gratitude journal. On an ethical level we also begin to see this in others and are our kindness and compassion is additionally motivated by knowing that other person is also working everyday toward a better version of themselves and we would never want to stand in their way of doing that.